Posts Tagged ‘LD33’

Dude, Stop – We are on Steam!

Posted by (twitter: @ArtjomsNeimanis)
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 10:32 am

Hello!!

Aeons ago we participated in Ludum Dare 33 (themed “You are the monster”) and in about 14 hours or so we made a small game called “Dude, Stop”. We were late, everything was rushed, it had no menu or UI, no music and just two sounds. Nonetheless, we received a lot of positive feedback and decided to expand the concept a little bit…

And now *drumroll* we’re finally on Steam Store! The dream is coming true!.. Well, coming true soon, since the game is still not finished. It’s actually funny – the initial prototype took 14 hours to make and the full game isn’t complete after one and a half years. It’s all just a pile of puzzles. Glorious, wonderful puzzles!

Anyway, this is just an encouragement for other Ludum Dare participants – don’t be afraid to take your rushed mess of a game and flesh it out into a complete game! The community is really good at showing, whether or not your games are fun, and telling you where the problems are. You guys are awesome.

steamPage

Dude, Stop - Screenshots

http://store.steampowered.com/app/574560

The next challenge now is to release properly… 😀

Entropy, my Ludum Dare 33 Entry, is now a full game !

Posted by
Sunday, December 18th, 2016 3:17 pm

“Entropy : A Quest for Harmony” is out now on Android !

For Ludum Dare 33, I made a relaxing puzzle game about destroying the universe. It was quite well received and I was very satisfied with the results. The concept was really simple at its core and provided a good base on which to expend and create more content. It took quite a while before I decided to make a full game out of it though. About 6 months later, I started the development of Entropy as a full mobile game.

After quick testing, I found that the concept was really intuitive with touch controls. This is due mostly to the simplicity of the controls. I decided to not add any new inputs from the player other than clicking on the shapes to make them rotate. Instead, I added mechanics in the form of interactions between the existing elements and by changing the rules. Now, one year later, the game now has over 60 levels and is available completely free !

 

If you have an android device and would like to encourage a fellow developer, then here’s the download link :

ANDROID DOWNLOAD LINK

GAME WEBSITE

I would like to thank everyone who gave my feedback, both on the full game and on my Ludum Dare entry !
Also, I’d be happy to answer any questions about the development you might have !

 

Header2

Turned my Ludum Dare game into full game launched on Steam! :)

Posted by (twitter: @BPOutlaws)
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 10:54 am

Hey everyone! If you played my dragon game back in Ludum Dare 33:

I kept working on it and turned it into a full game, and just launched it on Steam! Figured it could be good inspiration for people participating in LDJAMs to keep working on their entry if they come up with a cool mechanic/idea…who knows, you might be able to to turn it into a full game!

Here’s the trailer:

Grab it on Steam here:


http://store.steampowered.com/app/498190

My next game is ALSO going to be based of my LDJAM entry from Ludum Dare 35:

https://bulletproofoutlaws.itch.io/shootinggamething

Hope this inspires some people to take their games beyond their Game Jam entries if they think they’ve stumbled across something fun! With a few more months of work you might be able to turn it into an awesome game you might be able to pay your rent with! 😉

Follow me on Twitter at @BPOutlaws, I use it as a devBlog lol

– Jeff

Eda – demo available!

Posted by (twitter: @alpha_rats)
Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 12:58 pm

banner

Untitled-1

 

After some time spent reworking the prototype made for the LD33, the demo of my bonsai-growing game Eda is out!
I warmly recommend the desktop version, the game not being optimized for web.

 

> Play/Download through GameJolt

> Play/Download through itch.io

 

Thanks again to the Ludum Dare community for all the feedback and advice during the earlier development stages of the game.

I hope you’ll enjoy the experience!

Moon werewolf post-mortem (LD33)

Posted by
Sunday, March 27th, 2016 8:13 am

Hello, people.

While getting excited for LD35, and reminiscing over my previous experiences with Ludum dare jams, I wanted to share the story about my previous entry at LD33 – You are the monster.

 

Phase 1 – start with basic idea (Saturday morning – noon)

 

I always keep the scope small. One or two mechanics, make it playable and simple.
Starting from something simple, then add more stuff according to remaining time and energy.

On this LD, i had idea to start from the Space.
moonIn the Space, there is that overwhelming feeling of unknown and infinite nothingness around you, so it’s perfect location for the spooky “You are the monster” game.
Since I didn’t want to go with aliens on the spaceship (too much cliche), I went with the planet.
Small rotating planet (The Little Prince style).
I always wanted to make game with rotating planet, so I used it here to make small and restricted environment for the game, surrounded by vast emptiness of space.

I downloaded moon texture from google, and added “Noise & scratches” from Standard Assects Effects, to boost spooky atmosphere.

So what more could be scary about planets and moons, and to keep it with theme?
I went through all sort of different things:

  • Astronauts lost in space, you are the infected one
  • Astronauts in exploring mission, you are monster that lives on planet
  • You are astronaut exploring new worlds, and “cleaning” planets for colonization (you are monster because aliens living on the planet are peaceful)

Then while thinking about moon and scary scenarios, my brain got association of werewolf.

It’s general knowledge that werewolves transform to beast form when there is full moon.
So I asked myself, what would werewolf do on the moon itself, as it’s kind of always “full moon” there.
So I immediately decided that I wanted to do game about werewolf on the moon :)

Important thing about Ludum Dare is that you can do anything you want. It’s all for fun, no one will disqualify you, ban you or laugh at your game.
Maybe you even won’t fully finish the game (my LD28 game) or it’s going to be very simple (my LD32 game).
Just do it, have fun and make the damn game you want. It feels great!

 

Phase 2 – implementing mechanic (Saturday noon to late evening)

 

I then starting implementing mechanics ad-hoc.
Inspired by Werewolf/Mafia party game, I added hidden werewolf player and targets (civilians). You could transform to werewolf, and kill civilians.

werewolf

To add challenge, I added some guards which can kill you if they catch while you are in transformed mode.
I added some naive behaviour for them, so if you are close to them, they start going your way. No memory, not calling backups or anything.
Instead of overcomplicating the guards behaviour, I focused on UI and particles for death (blood splatter), since I planned my time.
For UI, I used standard Unity NGUI, and free icons downloaded from some random sites.
For particles, I used some basic particle effect from Asset store (can’t remember exactly which one), and changed color and some basic properties so it looks more brutal.
I added that radial blurry screen effect from standard effects, when you are transformed, so it looks clear to player that he is in beast mode.

Important thing at LD (or any timed hackathon) is to prioritize.
Don’t overdo stuff, as nobody will expect perfectly engineered solution or complex stuff.
Just name it as a feature, and continue with other stuff. Make it playable :)

 

Phase 3 – Wrapping up (Sunday half of day)

 

I finished playable prototype, so wanted to invest some more time into effects and juiciness.
I used GoKit library for tweening, and added more natural movement to objects, added fading out of screens.
Game was a bit weird for new players, so I added some info notifications, to give some context to the game.
Guards were simple, but game was interesting with them, so I kept them that way.
Since I had more time and energy, I added more advanced guards that appear later in the game (when you kill at least half of the civilians), Inquisitors, which remain hidden unless you are close to them.
It added nice dose of challenge for better players, when “A new inquisitor appears!”.
I kept the “models” of the objects just cubes, because my 3d skills are zero, and decided to keep just the color as differentiator.

After that, i tested game for an hour, fixed some bugs, and decided it’s done.
Check the gameplay here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMJlEyinlGw
Or try it from LD site.

The best thing is the feeling you get when you complete a playable game in a weekend.
It won’t be Assassin’s Creed.
Someone probably would not even call it a game.
But the most important thing is THAT YOU HAD A LOT OF FUN.

Ludum Dare #33 “Sola Mors” has been greenlit!

Posted by (twitter: @akkugames)
Monday, January 18th, 2016 12:06 pm

After half a year our “Sola Mors” game which has been developed for the Ludum Dare #33 has been greenlit on the Steam GreenLight!

greenlit2

I would like to remind that we have initiated a program “Road to the Steam Greenlight in 3 days” which means that the game has been posted on the Greenlight right after the deadline of the Ludum Dare!

roadtosteamgreenlight

If you want to receive the news about our game (including development tricks and etc.) follow us on Twitter, Facebook or VK

Thank you for supporting us, dear friends!

Best regards,
Tima Zhum.

My game available on itch.io

Sunday, November 8th, 2015 8:19 am

I finally decided to post my LD33 game on itch.io. You can buy it for $0.50 – $0.80 Since I didn’t want to charge much for it. Its just a small game and quite addictive if I do say so myself!

I bet no-one can complete the Extra more unlocked by completing Easy, Medium and Hard. Good luck and it really supports me if you buy, donate or both. 😀

http://adenmansongames.itch.io/detonate

Yay I fu*ed up XD

Posted by
Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 4:48 am

 

 

לכידה

 

The Reckoning

Hmmm… yup not charming at all.. I had much better times before

It’s my 3d LD, my first time making a 3D game for Ludum Dare and my first time using Blender Game Engine. I know I AM pleased with the result – I achieved more mechanics than I imagined in 48 hours. I didn’t polish the game on the other hand, and.. IDK I thought it’s not much of a factor in LD judging so I left it as the last task and since I had no time left – I didn’t.

Through the bugs crashes and the impossible use of BGE, I feel like I succeeded moving foreward, still it seems like I still need to work on my sh*t XD

Minimal 3D graphics seems like didn’t impress much, so I must conclude that my minimalism falls short. Honestly, this is bad.. that’s the worst thing a minimalistic design can have.

Or maybe my problem is not being user friendly. I mean, I made a mini game that barely explains itself, because I thought color-mechanics correlation is something one can discover itself and would be much more fun this way. Well, this fell short once again. My guess is that only one folk got to the last level.

My last guess isn’t very mature but WTH I’ll just leave it for you guys to discuss – do you think being “harsh” with your judging would result in deducting points? Do you think people who write nicer and less honest comments would get better results?

Well, either way, I think even if my game is sh*tty, I learned a lot and made a crazy ride just as I planned – making something with a tool I never tried, made some cool mechanics I’m honestly proud of considering the time frame given and the theme.

My entry was “Being a Video Game Monster“, and I want to thank everyone who played it.

70% coolness is the most I had ever before, so in that regard – I’m reasonably happy to finally figure how to behave in this coolness system.

I hope I can participate next year as well, though chances are I’m gonna be really bussy; this honestly has nothing to do with the scoring, I knew this even before entering. I don’t really care about the score as much as I care that this might have been my last LD. Hopefully, this isn’t the last one. Gonna try hard to find time to making an entry once again, it’ll probably suck since I’ll have even less time to prepare than THIS time, but even with sh*tty score I would be able to enjoy a break from everything and living the dream of making video games while asking NO ONE’s permission!

That’s what’s LD for me.

And, as always – Have a Happy Ludum Dare (bitter smile). =]

All Im saying is if you clone a murderous insect in a science lab… you prolly shouldn’t forget to give them dessert at night. They tend to get a little cranky -> [LADY BUG] by King Penguin.

Our top 10!

Posted by
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 4:18 pm

Hello everybody!
So the day of the final vote is coming and we wanted to share our top 10 from all the game we  have tried the last two weeks. On a more personal note, it was our first Ludum Dare and we had quite a lot of fun making Free Hugs Kraken.
Of course there are many many cool games out there and well it was hard to make up our mind but we finally got our list to put up on the wall! There is definitely some gold nuggets in this ludum dare edition, good luck to you all for the votes! :)

 

Here is the list!

 

Youkai

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/49788-shot1-1440451206.jpg-eq-900-500.jpg

Simple. Fun. Addictive. Smooth. Try this, it rocks!

 

Jörmungandr

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/7688-shot0-1440458624.png-eq-900-500.jpg

You take snake on Nokia3310, add in 3D. Then put in it innovation and fun. There you go, a sympathic jam entry!

 

Dude, Stop

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/57656-shot0-1441816849.png-eq-900-500.jpg

A really cool and original entry, you will go several times doing the game to feel just….MONSTRUOUS!

 

A Shadow In The Night

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/12495-shot2-1440613273.png-eq-900-500.jpg

The concept is really fun, attractive and lots of fun to play. The ambiance (graphics, sound) as well is really cool!

 

Siren’s Serenade

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/55625-shot1-1440467187.png-eq-900-500.jpg

Who never wanted to incarnate Ulysse’s greatest nightmare? well this game just put the history right in place!

 

underworld siege

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/2952-shot0-1440948623.gif-eq-900-500.jpg

A reall cool turn by turn/dungeon style game. Having your Lord to protect, you need to gather gold and create traps, doors, and minions that you can control to defend and gather resources. A cool entry!

 

Monster Academy

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/8733-shot0-1440367784.png-eq-900-500.jpg

He is actually not related to cookie monster, don’t make that mistake but he is even more cruel than him. This game is refreshing and funny as hell to see your monster giggling all around. Do not try this at home! :)

 

Delicious Cortex

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/2982-shot0-1440383401.png-eq-900-500.jpg

Who never dreamed of being the Zombie Lord? reviving an army of zombies and lead them to their destiny, which is eating brains, brains and brains again. The pixel Art is just gorgeous and the game is a pleasure to play.

 

Mobs, Inc.

http://ludumdare.com/compo/wp-content/compo2//479518/30677-shot0-1440466271.gif-eq-900-500.jpg

Great graphics and a top notch animation for this entry. It wouldn’t mind if we had 100+ more level backgrounds!

 

Troopers’ Starship

Strong gameplay mechanics, with a charming 2D/3D style in it. It would nearly gave me the feeling of walking on the walls, just to say how much the ambiance was great!

 

Have fun!

Last day of Voting- My Favourites of LD33

Posted by (twitter: @gamepopper)
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 2:38 pm

Hey everyone! As of writing there is one day left to vote on entries for LD33. I’ve had a load of fun developing my own entry, which I’ve gone into detail in a post mortem, and afterwards I’ve gone and tried out and voted on as many games as I can, which isn’t easy since I started a new job last month. So here are my five favourites so far:

Escape from Twump Tower

Honorary award for catchiest music track in a LD game, this is a very colourful game for such a topical storyline. Music is really catchy and I love the Megaman approach.

Intergalactic Love Machine

I love the dialogue and the text options, this is a really neat idea to base the theme on and the design of the monsters are really well made, fitting with the individual characters.

R-ADIUS

Very well made, I like the strategy involved in planning how to overwhelm the player ship to make it lose all its lives. I hope MrTwister expands this to give some more level and boss varieties, since I managed to beat the player after three rounds and the game just looped around.

Unsolicited

Brilliantly simple and novel concept, definitely liked the level of micromanagement you have to pull off in the later levels.

A Shadow In The Night

A very well polished puzzle platformer, with a unique jumping mechanic. Really good take on classic movie vampires with a great art style!

I’m really looking forward to the results, and see which games I’ve completely missed or had surprised me by somehow reaching the top rankings. I’m also hoping to see how well my game did, which if you are curious and wish to vote on, play it here!

If anyone’s interested,

Posted by (twitter: @DevDejvo)
Sunday, September 13th, 2015 12:14 pm

I’m just gonna leave a link here http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=49267

It’s almost a day until the end and I’ve rated 100 games. I can’t do any more and it won’t get my default down anyway. so if anyone would like, play and rate my game. I appreciate constructive criticism

Melody Muncher Post-Mortem

Posted by (twitter: @ddrkirbyisq)
Saturday, September 12th, 2015 11:15 pm

Hi there!  DDRKirby(ISQ) here with my =10th= LD entry (wow!), Melody Muncher!

2

Link to play and rate: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=7285

This one was a blast to make, and I ended up working for 2 weeks to make the Post Compo version (out now!), adding a new mechanic, animated backgrounds for each level, more songs, 3 separate difficulties, and more!

When the theme was announced this time as “You Are the Monster” I was actually quite disappointed, just due to the fact that it was so similar to “You Are the Villain”!  I mean come on guys, really?  But now that I think of it, You Are the Villain was EIGHT LDs ago, so I guess I can’t fault people too much for it.  I wonder if anyone decided to redo the same game concept that they did for LD25?  It would be an interesting challenge, just to see how far your game jam skills have come over the past years…

Anyways, despite my initial dislike for the theme, my idea and game came together really smoothly this time; I can’t even remember running into any hiccups at all!  As always, let’s go over what went well and what didn’t go well.

 

What went well:

Avoiding other commitments during LD weekend
Almost every other LD I’ve done, I’ve had =something= else to attend to over the course of the jam, usually on Friday night.  Usually I tell myself that it’s fine and that I can just try to brainstorm in my head while that happens, but to be honest, that never quite works out and it’s basically like I start off behind by 4 hours already.  This time I decided that I really was just going to dedicate the whole weekend to LD and besides some driving here and there and dealing with meals (gotta eat!), I was just heads down working the whole time, which was GREAT!  An exhausting weekend, for sure, but I don’t think there’s any way around that.  For Sunday, after breakfast and running a quick errand in the morning, I pretty much worked straight through the entire day until the deadline…I stopped twice for the bathroom, once for refilling water, and once for a massive yawn/stretch…that’s it.  Hahaha, you other LDers will know what I’m talking about…Sunday is usually that day when it’s like “omg I have 5 hours left and I still have to add in 2 more enemy types, also my game has no menu, title, or tutorial and I haven’t tested the difficulty at all AHHHHHH”.

3

Game concept and execution
As mentioned earlier, everything came together really smoothly for Melody Muncher, without a hitch, really!  I spent Friday night doing my usual brainstorming routine, and considered plenty of other possibilities, but the idea of having the piranha plant munching guys as a rhythm game occurred to me pretty early on, and it clearly had the most potential while also playing to my strengths, so I went for it.  Huge success!

Level data layout
One of the reasons I was able to cram in six (!) full songs to the 48hr version of Melody Muncher was because I made sure the levels were really easy to program in.  Unfortunately this was NOT the case for my previous game of this genre, Ripple Runner.

Here’s what a level definition looks like in Ripple Runner:

// Section 1
addPlatform(startTime + -10.0 / bps, startTime + 36.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + -10.0 / bps, startTime + 36.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 37.0 / bps, startTime + 44.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 37.0 / bps, startTime + 44.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 45.0 / bps, startTime + 52.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 45.0 / bps, startTime + 52.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 53.0 / bps, startTime + 60.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 53.0 / bps, startTime + 60.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 61.0 / bps, startTime + 62.0 / bps, -45, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 61.0 / bps, startTime + 62.0 / bps, 45, timingWindow, level);
addPlatform(startTime + 63.0 / bps, startTime + 80.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level, true);
addPlatform(startTime + 63.0 / bps, startTime + 80.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level, true);
GameWorld.world().add(new Checkpoint(startTime + 64.0 / bps, -40));
...
// Section 2
 addPlatform(startTime + 80.0 / bps, startTime + 100.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
 addPlatform(startTime + 80.0 / bps, startTime + 108.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
 addPlatform(startTime + 108.0 / bps, startTime + 116.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
 addPlatform(startTime + 116.0 / bps, startTime + 120.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
 addPlatform(startTime + 120.0 / bps, startTime + 124.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level);
 addPlatform(startTime + 124.0 / bps, startTime + 126.0 / bps, 40, timingWindow, level);
 addPlatform(startTime + 126.0 / bps, startTime + 128.0 / bps, -40, timingWindow, level, true);
...
...
...

And so on and so forth.  And that’s only the =first half= of the EASIEST level.  Yuck!  Unfortunately I was super duper hacky while coding up Ripple Runner so the way that I constructed the levels was actually just by placing each platform individually.  This involved tons of hacks, especially trying to deal with assymmetrical timing windows which varied according to which kind of obstacle you were using (spikes, rippling, jumping), and a bug that prevented me from creating single platforms that were too long….etc etc.

Thankfully I didn’t repeat the same mistake this time.  Here’s what a level looks like in Melody Muncher:

result.SfxName = "sfx/level3";
 result.BeatDivision = 2;
 result.BeatPixelLength = 80;
 result.Left = 
 "........ ........ ........ ........" +
"1.....1. 1....... 1....... 1...1..." + "1....... 1....... 1.....2. 1...1..." +
 "1.1..... 1...1.1. 1....... ........" + "1...1.1. 1.1..... 1....... ........" +
 "1.1..... 1...1.1. 1.1.2.1. ........" + "1...1.1. 1.1..... ........ 1.1.2.1." +
 "1....... 1....... 1.....1. 1...1..." + "1.....2. 1....... 1....... 1...1..." +
"........";
 result.Right =
 "........ ........ ........ ........" +
"1....... 1....... 1.....1. 1...1..." + "1.....2. 1....... 1....... 1...1..." +
 "1...1.1. 1.1..... 1....... ........" + "1.1..... 1...1.1. 1....... ........" +
 "1...1.1. 1.1..... ........ 1.1.2.1." + "1.1..... 1...1.1. 1.1.2.1. ........" +
 "1.....1. 1....... 1....... 1...1..." + "1....... 1....... 1.....2. 1...1..." +
"........";

Much better!  Here I’m using “1” to indicate a green enemy, “2” for a red enemy, and “3” for blue enemies (which don’t appear in this particular level).  I ended up using “[” and “]” to denote the yellow centipede enemies in the post-compo version.  The periods just indicate points where there are no enemies, and spaces get automatically ignored.  It’s still perhaps not 100% ideal as I still had to build up separate strings for the left and right sides of the screen, but overall inputting notes for songs went pretty quickly.

Coding it the Right Way
So, again, for Ripple Runner I used a bunch of stupid hacky coding, and as a result, even though your X position in Ripple Runner is locked to the position of the song (good!), your jump height and y position is not (bad!)–it’s actually just normal platformer gravity.  This led to some pretty clumsy manual hacking about to get the gravity to be correct for each level (it needs to be adjusted for each BPM setting!), and in general just led to sad times within the code.  The end result still ended up just fine, but…

When it came to program Melody Muncher, I had learned my lesson, so I made sure to do everything right.  The position of all of the enemies is dictated solely by the position of the music, and there are NO collision boxes or movement physics or anything!  Each enemy knows what beat it should be hit on, and the enemies on either side are kept in an Array, sorted by order of arrival.  When you press left or right, we run through the first part of the Array looking for enemies whose beat is within the defined timing window–no collisions or any other nonsense needed!  Very clean, very sensible, and the code was much better and simpler as a result.

4

Post-Compo Version
This might not technically count as something that “went well for LD”, but this was the most fun I’ve ever had working on a Post-Compo version of a game I’ve made.  Probably because of the above two factors, and also because I knew I had something with a lot of potential.  Making new songs and mechanics was a blast, and even though it took a lot of work to add all of the new features in the Post-Compo version, I’m super happy with how it turned out, and I believe this is my most polished game ever as a result.

 

What didn’t go so well:

Input Delay and Lag Calibration
Okay…so this was mostly a stupid mistake.  So one of the mechanics in the game is that after a few levels, enemies can come at you simultaneously from both sides, so you have to press Left and Right at the same time to do a split munch.  Simple enough, right?

Well, on the coding side, I implemented this by having a separate animation — one where Ms. Melody has two heads that are each attacking.  (As it turns out, while working on the Post-Compo version I had to redo this and just implement each head separately to allow for the yellow long centipede enemies to work)  I then also decided that because people probably weren’t always going to hit left and right at exactly the same time, what I would do is this:

When you first hit left or right, the plant transitions into a “getting ready to attack” state (with a different animation frame) and waits for a frame or two, during which you have the opportunity to input the other direction.  Once the frame or two is up, the attack actually happens.  So this was good because even if you hit left on frame #1 and right on frame #2, you still get the split munch on both sides.

The problem is that by doing this, I essentially delayed every input (as well as the resulting “munch” sound) by something like 17 or 33ms.  Now, that may not seem like much, but in a rhythm game where your actions need to be really tightly synced, you can really notice, and people did.  Add that to the fact that my default lag calibration for Flash builds was slightly off (I had to shift it by maybe ~50ms compared to native builds) and people definitely felt that their inputs were delayed.  Now, part of this was that I simply didn’t have enough time to program in a robust and user-friendly lag calibration setting (it’s much better in the post-compo version!), but most of this was just my own fault for adding additional input delay unnecessarily.

The good news is that the post-compo version fixes this entirely, and if you compare the two the post-compo version should feel MUCH better.

Missing was too punishing
In the original 48hr version of the game, if you try to attack when no enemy is on the corresponding side, Ms. Melody does this ugly faceplant animation which leaves you stunned for a half beat or so.  This was designed intentionally as a means of punishing you for trying to attack when there was no enemy, as well as to eliminate the cheesy strategy of just trying to munch on both sides on every single eighth-note beat.  If you didn’t have the recovery animation, you’d just be able to do that and get a perfect score, which was obviously no good.  I had been trying to think of various ways to solve that issue, and after trying it, this seemed like a clean solution, as well as making it very unrewarding to miss notes, which is what I wanted — it should feel good when you hit enemies, and bad when you miss enemies.

Well, the problem is that players don’t like feeling bad.  One of the complaints that I got was that the recovery time for missing was too long and it led to people feeling like the game was “unfair” (ugh, loaded term).  Now, if you’re used to rhythm games, you probably didn’t mind this as much, but if you’re not a rhythm gamer, what happens is that you miss one enemy, then because of that your input for the second enemy doesn’t register (since you’re still in recovery), which throws you off and then you end up missing again ……, in the end that’s a situation that just doesn’t really feel good.  So lesson learned — reward your players for succeeding, but don’t punish them for failing.

The solution in the post-compo version was to eliminate the recovery delay and just add in a proper scoring system that adds points to your score based on your current chain, a la Guitar Hero.  Now I no longer need the recovery delay because if you try to use the strategy where you attack both sides on every eighth note, you’ll keep on breaking your chain over and over again, leading to a poor score.  Problem solved!  But unfortunately, I just didn’t have time to get the more fancy scoring system and everything done in the 48hr version.

No Shovel Knight
Okay, so this wasn’t really that big of a deal, but when I was drawing up the graphic for the red enemies I knew I wanted it to be something big, beefy, and blocky, so I went with an armored knight.  Since it was a knight, I decided to give it a sword.  I even referenced some Shovel Knight images as I was drawing it up….but for SOME reason I missed the golden opportunity to just have my Red Knights carry shovels and be “shovel knights”.  Which would have made perfect sense (they’re trying to dig up Ms. Melody), AND would have been a great callout to a great game.  Biggest missed opportunity everrrrrr =(

48 Hours!!!!
Alright, I guess this isn’t really something that “went wrong”, but it still amazes me every time how quickly the 48 hours goes by, despite you wanting to cram in more and more features.  “If only I had 1 extra hour!!!”  This was apparent this time around as well; the submitted version of my 48hr entry was missing some key components that I really really wanted to get in, but I just. did. not. have. enough. time.

Specifically, better lag calibration was one item high-up on the wishlist that I didn’t end up getting to squeeze in until later.  It wouldn’t have taken long, either!

And, changing backgrounds was another real big item.  I had a hue shifting effect that I used in Ripple Runner which worked fabulously, and I really wanted to do the same thing in Melody Muncher, because without it the backgrounds feel very static, especially when the music is very energetic and has these big builds and climaxes.  Of course, it turns out that because I’m now working in Haxe and Haxepunk, I can’t just use punk.fx (flashpunk) to do an easy hue shift; in fact I still don’t know of any good way to do hue shifting in Haxe/Haxepunk without digging into low-level RGB code yourself. =(  The silver lining on that cloud is that because I wasn’t able to do easy hue shifting, I ended up making much more intricate and involved animated background effects for the post-compo version, so it all works out. :)

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And that wraps up another post-mortem!  Results will be in very soon–good luck to everybody and remember, the real prizes are your games, not your ratings!  Be sure to take your scores with some salt; sometimes you get scores that don’t quite make that much sense.

Thanks for taking the time to read about Melody Muncher!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! :)

Our Colossus powers may be faded. But we can still smash the faces of a few humans before we go! -> [The Old One] by Chris Olsen

Just remember. If you fire the entire United States, be sure you have a sure fire escape plan. -> [Escape from Twump Tower] by 01010111

Greetings, Human: Visual Overhaul

Posted by (twitter: @boardtobits)
Monday, September 7th, 2015 5:26 pm

My time has been split between working on Greetings, Human, and some other, less digital game projects, but I wanted to share some of the aesthetic progress I’ve made since the compo.

Sketches of possible alien heads/features.

Sketches of possible alien heads/features.

Heads designed in Illustrator and rendered in Unity.

Heads designed in Illustrator and rendered in Unity.

Updated UI implemented in Unity.

Updated UI implemented in Unity.

I’ve also been doing deeper research into cultural dissonance and what makes cultures different. There’s obviously a lot more than just saying hello and goodbye, including things like:

  • Rites of passage
  • High-context vs. low-context
  • Class systems
  • Values (personal, material and societal)
So, the final product is going to have to be more nuanced and less simply memorizing actions in order to do the situation justice. I’m excited to take it on, though!

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